When I first started training to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, I vowed to pick up the pace in May. The month snuck up on me quicker than I thought, probably because May 1 was on a Saturday and who wants to work out harder on the weekend? Plus, we were out celebrating my youngest daughter's 18th birthday the night before. I was under the mistaken impression that the Hawaiian martini I ordered would be mixed with pineapple juice rather than just having a piece of alcohol soaked fruit jauntily dangling on the rim.
But enough with the excuses! The climb is rapidly approaching and there is no time to waste.
Sunday, I bicycled 25 miles along the coast. Monday, I walked.
Tuesday, I pushed myself on the elliptical at the gym, increasing the slant to target quads and gluts. Then, I lifted weights and did squats.
I put in my usual three mile walk on Wednesday morning, followed by another killer four plus miles that afternoon - jog walking behind a long legged friend on rock strewn Torrey Pines State Beach, up the Broken Hill trial with its zig-zags and stairs and back down through the reserve. Balancing on the cobbled beach, jumping onto the larger rocks to avoid the incoming tide - all very important I've been told to build up those crucial trail muscles.
On Thursday morning, I spent an hour and a half trailing after another friend all over the hills and valleys of Solana Beach - looping through the San Elijo lagoon headed east, under the I-5 freeway, climbing steep streets, back under the freeway and west to her house. After, I went to the gym for another workout.
From now until our departure, the trick for me will be figuring out the right balance of physical preparation. Typically, I err on the side of over-working: my anxieties that I have not done enough overcoming common sense.
The year we climbed Mt. Whitney in late August, I started intensifying my workouts in April, culminating the training with an 11-mile "death run" through the Rancho Penasquitos Canyon Preserve on a hot summer morning.
It's probably a good thing there will be two weeks of a forced exercise haitus before we head up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Otherwise, my muscles would be fatigued from the start and I wouldn't have even stepped boot on the trail.
I took today off from exercising (does throwing the ball at dog park count as exercise?), but I will be back at it tomorrow with another long walk, and a bicycle ride up the coast on Sunday morning.